Pacific Islands University has a men's basketball league, but no leagues for women. Observing how much the women at PIU enjoy playing volleyball, I decided to put together and coach a PIU women's volleyball team, and I am currently organizing a league. I have coached several different volleyball teams over the years, but coaching this Micronesian college team has been quite a challenge! Here are some lessons I have learned along the way:
1) Gently substitute the players' cherished island skirts with men's basketball shorts. Be sure the shorts are long enough to cover the players knees so that you don't offend cultural sensibilities.
4) Be prepared for the ensuing shock, horror, and perhaps mutiny, when you announce that actual physical exercise will be required.
5) Maintain absolute control as complete hysteria breaks out amongst players at the spectacle of their fellow teammates actually doing the required conditioning exercises, such as high knee sprints, side shuffles, blocking at the net, etc. From a coach's perspective, because Micronesian women have no prior exercise experience, the execution of the conditioning requirements is rather entertaining.
Note: At all costs, do not even crack a smile when a player asks to turn off the court lights so she can run her laps in the dark without being seen! (actual incident)
6) Convince the players to really take the game seriously and be competitive.
Do not come unglued when during an intense game, an exhausted player queries, "Can't we just play for fun?" (another actual incident)
7 Don't give up just because your players are shouting encouragement to the opposing team's server during the most critical points of the game. (another actual incident). Continue to promote the concept of taking the game seriously and being competitive. (Did I already mention this?)